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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

About Life Not Being Fair

Life is not fair. It never has been, and it never will be.

The owner of the house rejected our request for the roof and heating to be replaced. We will not be going any further with the process and will have to back down. It saddens me that he didn't even come back with the offer to help us with these costs. Even though both the roof and heating technically have a few more years left (both are 20+ years old), they will need to be replaced within the next year or two. We cannot afford to buy a house that needs such major repairs right after purchasing, especially for the price that we would have been paying. It doesn't make much sense to us, and I'm sure it wouldn't make much sense to any buyer. I really had my heart set on that house, especially after the buyer accepted our offer. I envisioned living there with Hubby and the future kiddos. I was so excited to be packing up everything and starting a new chapter in my life with Hubby. Now we're back at square one.

I do understand that the owner is attached to the house. It's the place he called home for the past 44 years. He raised his family in this house, and it holds so many special memories. I imagine him as Carl's character in the Pixar movie Up. His wife passed away a year ago, and I am sure he is still mourning. I don't think he wants to give it up.

A couple hundred dollars down the drain (possibly another $2k as well), and I'm so disappointed. I guess I knew all along that the seller would not accept our request. It just hurts more when it is official. I didn't prepare myself enough for this disappointment though. I don't even know why I have to mentally prepare for disappointment. It can't be normal. I would love to think that everything happens for a reason. I just want to know the reason.

While I'm ranting, I might as well add that I HATE Valero. They're just like every other big corporation, and it disgust me to see how they operate their business. I want to write one nasty letter to them, but then I know that it's just a waste of my time. I guess I'm just worried for Hubby.

There's another thing that has been bothering me.. my unemployment. I think I am depressed. Hubby says otherwise. I keep digging myself into a deeper hole. I am afraid that I will enter self destruct mode. The next time someone asks about my job status I'll just cry in front of them. Maybe that will teach them to stop asking.

I'm also thinking about my past. A lot of people ask about my younger sister. I tell them that she turned emo and that we never speak to one another. It's true. It still hurts me to think back on how it used to be, and sometimes I can't help but to blame myself for everything. I did make some mistakes along the way, and I wish I could take them back. A few years ago I would have never imagined that this would happen. I lost my favorite sister, and things will never be the same again.

The lesson of this rant is that life isn't fair. There is no way to have your cake and eat it too. I can only see more disappointments to come. I am falling into a not so happy state. How can I be happy when so much is falling down around me? I am so tired of crying.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

About Good Bite

I love food. There's no hiding it. I can eat, eat, and eat all day if it didn't add inches to my waist. Unfortunately, I'm not that great in the kitchen when it comes to making the food that I love to eat. That's where food blogs come to the rescue and make a clumsy girl like me into a cook in the kitchen. I would like to highlight a new website, Good Bite, that will ultimately be my go to for dinner every night in the new house. It is pure genius!

from the website...

"About Good Bite

Good Bite is Delicious Made Easy -- because we believe eating well should not be hard. We are an online show and website that brings together the web’s best food bloggers and puts their cooking solutions and recipes on video for the first time.

In addition to our video, we scour the web to discover and share delicious, quick, and affordable recipes and cooking tips. We’re always on the lookout for great solutions that cut out fancy ingredients or unnecessary steps. Our bottom line is to make cooking easy and to save you time."

The videos are amazing, and I might as well toss Food Network out the window. Don't worry, Alton, I'll still secretly watch you when no one is looking. It brings together some of the most talented food bloggers out there, and it encourages you to step outside your comfort level and try new amazing recipes. I already follow Steamy Kitchen and White on Rice Couple in my Google Reader, and this is really the next step in food blogging. It is amazing, and I love it!

Go ahead and check it out! I cannot wait to try out Jaden's recipe for chicken wings! It looks sooo scrumptious!

Monday, June 22, 2009

About My Future Craft Room

Now that the house is a tad closer within our reach (home inspection and a tad more support from hubby's parents), I cannot stop thinking about the decorating possibilities. The house is pretty much move in ready (if the owner helps us with the major roof and heater replacement), and we would not need to get started on any renovation projects right away. That's a huge bonus because we can't exactly afford to start any projects when all of our money is going into inspection, down payment, settlement, and closing costs. While we can't redo the kitchen cabinets any time soon, we can envision the set up for each room with the stuff we already have. The thoughts of moving in and settling down makes me super happy.

There's one room in particular which will be all MINE, and I am so looking forward to it. Of course it's my craft room, and that's something I probably would not have needed or wanted a year ago. A lot has changed in the past year, and I am a total crafting junkie. My crafting materials are so disorganized, and I really have no where to put them in the bedroom right now. For the Hubby and I the bedroom is pretty much an office, living room, and bedroom all in one. I am itching to get my craft stuff out of here and into a room by itself. I get all sorts of giddy just knowing that one day I can craft without making the whole room a total mess (it happens each and every time). I can finally have a place to put my Hello Kitty sewing machine, piles of felt, stacks of card stock paper, cutting mat, scrapbook paper, paper cutter, and all of my other accessories. Most of my stuff stays in boxes or stays put in the basement, and it's a shame.

Right now I'm thinking about transforming an ordinary work desk into a super cool crafting table. With the magic of spray paint, pretty much any colorful dream can happen.

via Creature Comforts
(source)

Princess Lasertron's Amazing Desk Transformation from Mustard Yellow to...
(source)

... Pretty Pink!! Isn't it amazing?
(source)

The amazing part is that I might actually have access to one of these office desks. Hubby's friend recently told us about a realty office in Fox Run that was moving out, and they had a lot of office desks up for grabs. We did get one for ourselves, but Hubby's dad has transformed it into his own desk. I asked Hubby's friend if he had any to spare, and I'm hoping that I can get my hands on another one.

Of course the ideas for decorating my own craft room are pretty much endless. I have so many ideas running in my head that I can barely keep up with writing them all down. I am so EXCITED!!! Now we just have to make sure that we get the house...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

About My Dad

As a kid I was daddy's little girl. I was spoiled rotten by my dad's affection, and I wasn't even an only child (try 1 of 4 at the time and add in another one 9 years after my birth). My dad would treat me to a bar of chocolate at the grocery store every weekend until my doctor realized that I was allergic to chocolate. Even being the busy business owner that he was, he still had the time to bring me to amusement parks and take trips to nyc. I have only the fondest and best memories with my dad as a kid. As I got older my relationship with my dad still stayed strong. He was always there to try to calm me down after a huge argument with my mother. He was there to congratulate me and encourage me in school. We had many great conversations about everything you could think of, and I enjoyed our father daughter moments.

My dad is probably different from yours. He turns 78 this year, and while growing up I loved to brag about my dad's age (in his 60s at the time). My dad has been through quite a bit in his life (living in China, Hong Kong, Brazil for 10 years, and finally settling down in the US for the past 39 years). He's had a lot of life experience and many great friends. He didn't become a husband and father until his 40s, but that didn't get in the way of him being an amazing father to 5 daughters. Most Chinese people would look down upon my family for raising 5 girls with no boys to pass down the family name. My father could care less. He loves each one of us the same, and he would never trade one of us for a son.

While I may not be able to celebrate this father's day with my dad (he's overseas), I am definitely thinking about him today. I hope he has a smile on his face and that he's enjoying his time. Happy Father's Day!

Dutch Wonderland late 80s

Thursday, June 18, 2009

About Today's Schedule

While it may not be a big deal, I did come up with a rough schedule for today, and I'm following bits and pieces of it. I will soon make a detailed spreadsheet to keep me in check. I probably have too many eggs in one basket, and I might just go a little crazy.

Today I did a little wedding planning and organizing my thoughts in Microsoft Word. We may have a snack table for our guests to enjoy some of our favorite non-traditional snacks and drinks. Among the items will be Pocky (thinking about both chocolate and strawberry), Ramune, and Vita boxed drinks. It's a rather puny list of items, but it all adds up. I looked into prices online for wholesale, but shipping pretty much nixes the idea of buying online. Most likely we'll try to hit up the grocery stores in Chinatown and Washington to figure out the best deals. Why can't we live in California where Costco sells ramune for wholesale like it's an everyday drink for the average consumer?

The next item on my list involves blogging, and I'm obviously blogging right now. =) I finally figured out how to add the twitter widget to my page, and now you can see it on the right side of my blog. Oddly enough I saw it on an asian online grocery store website (while researching) with a link to add my own widget from twitter. I should have figured it out much sooner. Oh and the twitter account is specifically for this blog. It's my random thoughts pretty much uncensored.

I'm also working on expanding my yelp reviews with possibly one review a day. That doesn't sound too difficult. Today's feature review will be Plaka Grill in Vienna, VA. Hmm.. yummy greek food. It's probably not smart to be writing about food on an empty stomach.

The biggest project for today will probably be editing photos. There's a promo code for Walgreens that ends this Saturday for $.10 prints if you order 50 or more. Last time I ordered over 200 photos, and the quality was pretty good. I've heard that quality does vary from store to store, and you'll probably get the best from the newer stores that have more up to date printers. The current project will be to finish editing and print Ty's graduation photos for the family to see this weekend. I'm dreading this already.


screen shot of photo editing in lightroom.. yes, I work with two screen cause it's pure awesomeness

To try to make life more difficult I have this huge urge to start a craft project. There is too much online inspiration today, and I have to at least attempt something.. right? Here's the beauty that caught my eye today...


from weddingbeepro's talented Llubav Choy Duerr
(source)

Hmm... I think I can get it all done

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

About the Neverending To Do List

As a unemployed gal who is trying to fight the world (and losing terribly), you would think that I have all the time in the world to accomplish any to do list. Well that is not exactly the case. I have too much that I want to accomplish, and all of those things take a lot of time. I haven't been good with my time management skills since I left college, and procrastination is always there no matter how hard I try to kick it out of the way. While it seems like I have a full day to do what needs to be done, I really don't. My schedule is like any normal person who works from 9-5.. I just tend to wake up at 10, although I am trying to kick the habit of sleeping in. Those are the hours in which I can try to cross another thing off my to do list. After the work hours, Hubby comes home, and I am the most unproductive person in the universe. Here are a few things I'm working on...
  1. Blogging: That's a no brainer, but it's really difficult to organize my thoughts and write a decent entry for two blogs on a daily basis. Just imagine the normal time it takes to blog and double that with me. I'm also having some difficulties getting the flow of my wedding blog going. I have so many ideas, and I have no direction. It's frustrating.
  2. Crafts: I LOVE crafts, and I have so much inspiration everyday from amazing sites like Craft and Creature Comforts. At one point I was busy crafting as many humanly hours as possible -- from the time I woke up until the time I fell asleep at 4AM. It was probably an unhealthy obsession. I think depression may play a role in my drastic decline in crating, but I still want to find the time to do it.
  3. Pictures: I have a lot of pictures that I want to edit and prepare for Hubby's family. With the new DSLR, there is a lot more work involved in getting the photo prepared for the viewer, and I'm stuck with the task of editing. I just started, and I'm trying to learn the ropes. The work is sloppy, but I'm getting better. There are just hundreds of photos to go through, and it's not easy to select, edit, and place in the print folder. I'm also playing around with photo collages, but it's the ghetto way of doing it without an actual collage program. This is also very time consuming, and it's a daunting task.
  4. Google Reader: Believe it or not, it takes a lot of hours to organize and read everything in my Google Reader. I might be crazy, but I need organization even within my blogs. I label all the good entries and inspriation for the day. Sometimes I'll just mark a star next to it and get back to it another day. If there is a good project or recipe, I have to make sure to jot it down or record it on the computer. I have multiple folders on my computer just for pictures and tutorials. I want to actually do more of this because I have no saved inspiration photos for stuff related to the wedding. I've seen sooo much that I love, but I can't remember where I found it. Bad, Yin.
  5. Cleaning and Packing: With the house possibly within reach, I really want to start packing up my bags and leave asap. With Hubby's parents not approving of our choice, I am reluctant to start. I also tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to packing, and that just means it takes me twice as long. Everything has to be organized a certain way, and I don't even know if I can follow my own rules.
  6. Wedding: With one more year to go, I have a lot of catching up and planning ahead. Only fellow brides really understand the scope of planning a huge event and all the details that go into it. I have been preparing Word documents with details about specifics. It requires so much research and gives me a headache each time I attempt it.
  7. Yelp: I love Yelp, and it's my responsibility to give back to my food community. While my reviews pretty much suck, I still want to contribute as much as possible. I will be honest and say that I haven't actually posted much in the past year. I'm disappointed in myself, and I want to work on writing more reviews. My profile has been viewed over 500 times. That must mean I was doing something right. I only have 20 reviews and 117 photos under my name. That's not much. I could do much better.
  8. Health: Maybe I should devote more time to focusing on my health. I can't exactly say that I eat well balanced meals everyday, and I am certainly lacking in the exercise department. I have a super high metabolism that keeps me hovering around the 110 lbs mark while eating almost as much as Hubby at every meal. I can't rely on my metabolism for the rest of my life, and I need to get into a healthier routine. I must focus on eating better, more nutritious foods and exercising daily. That exercise part is what hurts me the most.
  9. Find a Job at Home: I'm sure I'm good at plenty of things, and I should capitalize on that. I'm just not exactly sure what that is.
  10. Figure Out My Goals: That's a tough one.
Now I just need to learn how to organize and plan my day to result in the most productive me possible. I'm thinking that I need to start a daily schedule and allot time to work on certain projects. I need to work on waking up earlier in order to actually follow a schedule though.

Monday, June 15, 2009

About Therapeutic Blogging

I blogged a lot in high school (more like my senior year since blogging had just hit big back then), and I blogged even more in college. Sometimes I would write about the dumbest things -- like listing everything I did that day. Other times I would just rant to no end, not even considering who would be reading it. Most of my entries were probably just rants, and that's when I opened up the most. If I got into a fight with my mother, I would just sign into xanga, and type out every single feeling going through my body at that very moment. It was therapeutic, and by the time I hit send I felt so much better. Prior to blogging I would just call up a friend and spill the beans. Before that, I had the good old fashioned pen and paper. Blogging was the easiest release for me. Friends can't always be available 24/7 (they do work, eat, and sleep after all), but as long as I had access to the internet, my blog was always there for me.

As I got older and became more aware of my audience, I slowly stepped back from blogging about my feelings. My rants usually represent my feelings at the strongest point. Reason may or may not be present. I learned to just suck in it and cry to myself. Sometimes I would hide in the closet -- the only place where I felt safe and in my own space. I would cry until the tears stopped flowing. The anger or sadness would still be present, but I eventually got back up and faced the world again. Every now and then I go back to blogging when I'm at an all time low, but then I hesitate and stop for a moment. I think about the consequences of my words. I think about the reaction it might bring about. Sometimes I'll write a few sentences, paragraphs even, and then I'll hit control + A (select all) + delete. It all goes away. It never goes public.

Well I'm at one of those low points. I've cried. I hid from the world by escaping to the bathroom (my new "closet"). Now I'm blogging. After the second or third round of crying I realized one of the best releases for me is to just write about it. I thought back on all of those times that my blog has been there for me. I remembered how therapeutic it is to have someone listen, even if they cannot respond or console me. No one has to read any words that were written in my entry, but I feel better knowing that I let it out. I'm not afraid to let everyone know.

While this entry didn't go into any details about the situation or my feelings, I feel better already. Blogging is therapeutic. I have to keep reminding myself. I have a new blog after all, and I can't hide from the world. This is who I am. I rant on my blogs. I have feelings. I have emotions. I break down. I am human. I hope this will open my eyes and make me less scared to just write what is on my mind. In the end, I will hit send and feel better than ever (well definitely better than I first started tying this entry). I can worry about the reprecussions later. People can judge me. I need to stop caring about what others think anyways (I'll discuss more about this later), and this will be my start.

I will not sugar coat my life in this blog. Be prepared to see me for who I am. I need to face the world. It's not always pretty. I am not perfect, and I will never strive to be perfect. Welcome to my life. I think a lot (well duh, that is the title of my blog), and I will not be afraid to write about it. Sometimes life will be great. Sometimes life will be complete crap. I'm going to share that with everyone. I need to finally be myself for once.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

About Ty's Graduation

Congrats, Ty! I've been working on the post processing of the photos, and hopefully I'll have it finished by the end of this week (yeah that gives me a day and a half). There are so many photos to go through, and I'm only half way done. Here's a teaser.

About Blogging

I used to blog everyday, several times a day at the height of my blogging days. Now the number of posts have decreased drastically, and I can't seem to think of anything interesting enough to post. I am more conscious of the viewer, and it limits my ability to just rant without caring. Instead I focus on reading about what other bloggers have to say, and I neglect my own blogging duties. With the beginning of two new blogs (this one and a new wedding blog), I want to really put the time into maintaining them. The last thing I want to do is abandon them in a few months like I've done with previous failed blogs. My goal is to write at least one entry every other day, and it has to have some substance. It can't be a simple "I need to write something quick.. hi." I want to get back that spark that only blogging can give me. The past year has been a difficult time for me, and I can't let that get in the way of the few things that I love to do. I am a blogger for life, and I am putting in my commitment to keep my new blogs alive with tons of love. =)

Yin

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

About Disappointments

Disappointments are part of life. You can't go without it, but you certainly don't want to go through with it either. I've had my fair share throughout my life just like any other normal person. Unfortunately life hasn't been treating me so well. You can't have your cake and eat it too. I have this theory that because of my luck in the love department I can't have anything else work out for me.

It's been a full year since I graduated from college... one whole year. Where am I now? I'm at the same place I was a year ago.. jobless. Actually, I was better off this time last year because I was still working with Bill and Linda at the I.D. office. I was also optimistic about the future and finding a job. Now all of that has disappeared. I looked for months, giving up at times. Then I would get myself back up and try again. I had plenty of interviews, none of which resulted in a real job. I took up a horrible job in a law firm, and that actually gave me the push I needed to get back in the market for a better job, something that required my brain smarts from my college degree. Once I got back in, I got shot right back down. I didn't get that perfect job that I wanted. I was told by multiple people that my resume looked great. I had opportunities come my way, but I knew better than to have any hope. Of course I was let down each time, and I can't help but to let that disappointment set in. I just gave up. I didn't want to get hurt anymore. I was already being pushed to the limit, and somehow another thing would come up and it would hurt me some more. It's hard to understand the pain that one goes through in this process. While I want people to understand me, I also don't want them to ever go through the emotional process.

It's gotten to the point where I just train myself to not get excited over anything that comes my way. I have to be pessimistic. I tossed hope out the window over 6 months ago. Along with that went my confidence as well. I just condition myself to understand that most likely I will face disappointment.

I know I'm a good person deep down inside. My intentions are always good, and I try to treat everyone with respect. I am also a hard worker, someone who actually strives to do well, even working at a job that pays near minimum wage. What have I done wrong? Why is life kicking me in the butt?

I'm just tired of disappointments. I'm tired of being put down by every little thing in life. I just want to get my confidence back. I want to believe again. I want to be able to hope for something and not be hurt each and every time. I don't think I can get back up. I gave up, and it feels impossible to ever try again. I just can't take much more of it.

Now another disappointment will be coming its way, and I don't want to be mentally prepared for it. I don't want to condition myself to prevent the pain from seeping in too fast. I just want it to hurt full force. I want to break down to the point where I just go crazy. I need to let it happen.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

About Name Change

I'm finally taking the necessary steps to change my name. No, I am not changing my name and taking Hubby's last name. I'm simply changing it back to the way it should have been when I was born. Confused? I've mentioned this a few times on my blog, but basically there was a mix up of communication when I was born and the name on my legal documents say "Chi-Yin LastName." Embarrassing.. yes. I spent 16+ years believing that my name was Yin. Then I went to the DMV to get my first driver's license, saw my social security card and birth certificate for the first time, and cried my eyes out. I did convince the worker to use the name I grew up knowing (phew), and now the only documents barring my legal name are my birth certificate, social security card, and tax documents.

Why was there a mix up of communication to begin with? In Chinese we say names backwards, starting with the last name first. So if my parents wanted to introduce me to their friends, they would say, "LastName Chi Yin." Whomever filled out my birth certificate decided to hyphenate my middle and first name and tada... Chi-Yin LastName. I find it somewhat humorous that I didn't find out (and neither did my parents) until that not so happy day at the DMV.

I just want my legal name to match the name that my parents gave me. I don't like having to explain to people why my legal name differs from my given name. It's a pain. I originally thought about changing my name when I was still in college, but I never got around to it. The process is lengthy and involves publishing a notice of name change in the local paper once a week for three weeks. Then I would have to go to the court, explain my story, get stuff notarized, and pay another $78 for the name change. Then I would have to get all of my legal documents changed back to my "new" name. Not easy. Why now? I decided to finally get going with the process again now that I'm a year away from the wedding. I want Hubby to be married to Yin Chi LastName and not Chi-Yin LastName. It's a minor detail, but it really means a lot to me. I will be taking Hubby's last name next year, and I want my first name to be corrected before that happens.

Oddly enough it's easier and cheaper to get married in Delaware than to get a name changed. Here's the break down:

Getting Married
  • Marriage License - opened M-F from 9AM to 4PM, must apply together, $30.00
  • Ceremony Fee (for court wedding) - performed on Wednesdays with an appointment, 2 witnesses needed, $30.00
  • Certified Copy Marriage License - $24.00
  • Total - $84
Getting a Name Change
  • Notice of Name Change to the Public - published once a week for three weeks in a local newspaper, cost vary from $34.10 to $102
  • Attain Affidavit of Publication from the newspaper
  • Fill out Petition for Name Change
  • Get Petition for Name Change and Affidavit Notarized by a Notary Public
  • Pay Filing Fee of $78
  • Go to the NCC Courthouse for the Change of Name Petition Hearing
  • Make necessary contacts to change social security card and birth certificate
Price of a Name Change
  • The News Journal - $102
  • Newark Post - $58
  • Middletown Transcript $34.10
  • Filing Fee $78
  • Cheapest Option - $112.10
  • Most Expensive Option - $180
Now I have to decide where I would like to publish my notice of name change. It seems the smartest to just go with the Middletown Transcript. I don't know anyone in Middletown, and it's the cheapest. The News Journal is ruled out since it cost more to publish it in there than to pay the processing fee with the court. The Newark Post has a special place in my heart. I was born and raised in Newark, and I regularly read the Newark Post. The man who answered the phone was very helpful, and I would love to support my local paper. Do I pay a little more for the Newark Post or do I just go with the cheapest option?

Hmm...